Growing up, my family spent almost every weekend camping…and playing softball. Having lived in the city for the past 27 years, it’s hard for others to imagine me as anything other than a city girl. Until I start to share my stories, and then they laugh. You see, yes, I am a country girl at heart. If I could have it any way, I’d be in an A-frame cabin in the woods spending my days wandering around with my camera taking pictures and ending the evenings with a fire while listening to the crickets and watching for shooting stars. And somehow, there’d be lightning bugs as well.
I’ll admit, I don’t know how I’d survive anymore without the ability to run to the store at a moment’s notice, but I’m sure I’d save on my grocery bill!
Two things stand out to me from my childhood.
One is my mom and the horseback rides we would take. We would spend the entire day, sun-up to sun-down, riding. We got to where we could spot a deer, rabbit, snake, lizard, skunk, bird….we could spot them anywhere. We knew how to listen and to watch.
The other is my dad. He loved to take pictures. He was always showing slide shows of the photos he took. I have enjoyed spending time with him sharing photos as I grew older. One of my favorite photos is this one, where he and B-boo are sharing photos on one of our camping trips.
My dad taught me how to notice the little things as well. We’d go on walks and he would take time to point stuff out. A flower here, a butterfly or bee, the way the water ran over a certain rock in a river, or the shape that some sticks in the woods made. And if we were too noisy, he’d “shoosh” us so we wouldn’t scare off any animals and miss seeing them. And he would spend time with me talking about the photos we took.
Now I enjoy taking photos as I take walks with my kids. My youngest son loves to be my assistant. He helps change lenses and points out things I need to take a photo of. I mean, how many photos of bunnies can one possibly take, right? But, he’s starting to notice the surroundings now when we walk. Once home, I love to put them up on the computer and go over them with the kids as we critique them together.
Too often, we become so busy with life. Especially living in the city. We work hard all week, and spend our time relaxing in front of the television or playing video games. And there is nothing wrong with any of it. But I think in doing this, we often forget to notice what is around us. We forget to notice the little things. My advice? Take time to notice what is around you. And if you have a camera, try and capture it as you go along.
Here’s some fun from my weekend.